Off to school with Michaëlca

See what it looks like to be a 6th grader at Grace Emmanuel School—when school can meet.

The unprecedented gang violence in Haiti has stolen so much childhood from a generation of kids in Haiti. It has separated families, torn apart friends, taken away livelihoods, and erased neighborhoods. Schools have ceased to exist, businesses have closed, and the government has all but stopped functioning.

Grace Emmanuel School has fought an uphill battle to remain open this past year, attempting to preserve some semblance of normalcy for hundreds of kids.

At the end of January, renewed unrest around the country forced the school to close again. First for one week, then two, then three. An attempt to open during the fourth week only brought threats to our school, forcing the doors closed again.

Michaëlca, a 6th grader, is one of 100 new students who enrolled at Grace Emmanuel School this fall. Like so many other kids, she has experienced the loss of friends, the loss of her home and neighborhood, and the loss of the school she had previously attended.

“The insecurity has made us leave our home, and it’s split our family apart, too,” she said.

Most recently, she has been separated from her mom, who took an opportunity to travel to New York in hopes of building a future for her family, even if it means temporary separation. Her dad also has left Haiti. Michaëlca and her younger brother are currently living with a former neighbor. 

Her church and her school have been the two constants in her life.

“I thank God every day for Grace Emmanuel School,” she said. “We don’t have to pay for anything, and we receive a good education, too.”

A few days before the closure, we documented what a school day looks like for Michaëlca. Please take a few minutes to watch—and pray with us for more normal days like this for Michaëlca and her classmates.